The beach is open from 6 am to 11 pm, but swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty, from 11 am to 7 pm daily.
Montrose Beach is located at 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive (Montrose Ave. at Lake Michigan) near the Uptown neighborhood. This popular beach offers patrons amenities that include food concessions, kayak and volleyball rentals, showers and restrooms. There is a non-motorized boat launch. An ADA accessible beach walk is available. Patrons can park at pay and display lots or street parking. Distance swimming is available from Tower 4 (north of boathouse) and parallel to shore. A dog friendly beach is located at north end of Montrose Beach.
South of the recreational beach a natural area attracts many migratory birds during the fall and spring seasons. A serene dune habitat has a rare panne habitat and endangered plant life thrives at this location.
Distance Swimming: tower 4 (north of boathouse), parallel to shore
Lincoln Park is one of Chicago’s oldest and largest parks. Surprisingly, more than 1,000 acres of this park and its beaches are completely made from landfill.
By 1929, Lincoln Park had 300 acres of landfill extending as far north as Irving Park Road. The Lincoln Park Commissioners had intended to keep landfill operations moving northbound, but work slowed because of the Depression.
In 1934, all of Chicago’s 22 separate park commissions were consolidated into the Chicago Park District. With extensive funding available through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Park District began many park improvements, including the Montrose to Foster landfill extension.
The plan for the extension included several buildings designed by E.V. Buchsbaum, including the beach house at Montrose Beach. Modeled after the beach house at North Avenue, the building looks like a lake steamer.
In the 1950s, the east wing of the beach house burned in a fire and was not rebuilt. Instead, the Park District constructed an open-air changing addition to the south side of the building. Today, the beach house is still in existence and is used by beach-goers.